Why is it important to stay hydrated during exercise? The question many people ask and few know the answer to. Staying hydrated during exercise and in general is very important; water regulates the body’s temperature and acts as a lubrication for joints. It also, helps transport nutrients through the body, providing you with energy and keeping you healthy. When you are insufficiently hydrated, your body cannot perform at its peak level, thus making it difficult to achieve day to day tasks and goals.
During exercise, water intake is different for everyone. The factors a person must consider when deciding how much water they need during exercise include sweat rate, the heat and humidity of the environment the person is exercising in, and the duration and rigorousness a person is exercising. While exercising you are exerting energy and losing fluid; if you are losing fluid and not replenishing the fluid lost, dehydration will set in.
Dehydration occurs when a person loses more fluid than what they are taking in. Now, water is the go-to for most people to keep themselves hydrated, however, if you will be exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, sports drinks may be more helpful as they provide potassium, electrolytes, calories and other nutrients that aide in performance and restoring energy. Keep in mind when choosing a sports drink that you want one not high in sugar or sodium; both deplete the body of the nutrients you are trying to restore and can cause dehydration to occur. Who knew staying hydrated could be so complex?
Listen to your body and know the symptoms of dehydration before they progress. Symptoms you will want to look out for are dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, dry mouth, lack of sweating, hard and fast heartbeat, mental confusion, weakness, and loss of consciousness. These signs are not to be ignored! If they occur you should cease exercising immediately and HYDRATE! In serious cases you should seek medical attention immediately.
Do you want to make sure your child knows how to exercise safely with proper form while staying hydrated? Contact Allison@potomacpediatrics to sign up for an affordable Health Coach Session.